The Day Before the Same Sex Marriage Referendum

Overheard while flying: “I don’t know what I’m doing half the time, do you ever get that feeling? I don’t know what I’m doing.” – air hostess.

In Brussels airport:

A woman came over and asked if anyone intended on voting on Friday (in the same sex marriage referendum) and would they like to be in a picture. So I hopped up, no better woman, YES badge on me and all, and stood with some other people in the woman’s selfie in front of the AER LINGUS sign.


Most people had either ignored her or politely said no. I’m glad I got up and did it; it added in my chest to this all-pervading sense of well-being, that feeling you get at Christmastime about other people (except it’s not Christmas). The looming referendum has made me feel that humanity is good and decent.

Whatever the outcome on Friday/Saturday, I’m feeling all of this because the rallying around I’ve seen on the YES side, the camaraderie, warmth and humour. There is a nobility in even the slightest creature when the fight for equality is underway, no matter how twee that sounds.

I feel our nation could be on the verge of something good, for once; not another baby-related-horror-story or a tribunal or banking scandal, but something different, and true, and worth fighting for.

The old ‘was it for THIS?’ joke rings home now. Yes, people fought and died for Ireland to become an independent nation for things like this, the electoral voice of a people declaring all at once that yes, everyone is equal.

….I hope.

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